September's History!

September has historically been the worst month for stocks.  Since 1896, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 1.1% on average in September.  No one really knows why, but some blame it on the mutual funds that close out their fiscal year this month.  Others blame...

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Tax Planning for the Self-Employed

Understand self-employment tax and how it's calculated As a starting point, make sure that you understand (and comply with) your federal tax responsibilities. The federal government uses self-employment tax to fund Social Security and Medicare benefits. You must pay...

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Low Interest Rate Estate Planning Strategies

The federal government requires the use of certain published interest rates to value various items used in estate planning, such as an income, annuity, or remainder interest in a trust.  The government also specifies interest rates that a taxpayer may be deemed to use...

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Social Security Changes for 2016

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 included a section titled "Closure of Unintended Loopholes" that ends two Social Security claiming strategies that have become increasingly popular over the last several years. These two strategies, known as "file and suspend" and...

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The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH)

In one of its final actions for calendar year 2015, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, a massive spending bill that will keep the federal government funded for fiscal year 2016. Signed into law on December 18, 2015, the legislation includes the...

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Labor Day Market Jitters

Chances are you’re sneaking a peak at the investment markets these days--maybe more than once a day. They’ve certainly been providing their share of excitement: down 4% one day, up more than 2% the next day or two, and who knows what’s causing the turmoil? In August,...

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BOOM: Puerto Rico’s Bonds Finally Blow Up

One of the first things I learned cutting my teeth in the investing world was to avoid municipal bonds from Puerto Rico.  My mentor liked to refer to the US Territory as a banana republic.  “That my friend is a ticking time bond waiting to blow up in your clients’...

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Are Your Retirement Dreams Out of Reach?

Every year the Employee Benefit Research Institute publishes their Retirement Confidence Survey.  Any every year one of the keys to overall retirement confidence is having a written goal.  But for many of us, a retirement goal that needs million(s) of dollars seems...

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How Should Entrepreneurs Be Spending Their Time?

What a Study of 14,000 Businesses Reveals About How You Should Not Be Spending Your Time In an analysis of more than 14,000 businesses, a new study finds the most valuable companies take a contrarian approach to the boss doing the selling. Who does the selling in your...

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Six Reason Why You Shouldn’t be Diversified

[fusion_text]Diversification is a great financial planning strategy, but does it really work for the company you're building? How does Vitamix get away with charging $700 for a blender when reputable companies like Cuisinart and Breville make blenders for less than...

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2015 Playbook: Diversification, Divergence and Defense

Looking back on 2014, history will show that it was a “pretty good” year to be an investor—in the United States.  No one will remember the three minor corrections during the year that spooked the markets or the fact that no professional investor in January 2014 felt...

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